HAVANA (CNS) — The Cuban bishops’ conference announced that Pope Francis will visit the island Sept. 19-Sept. 22.
An advisory posted on the bishops’ conference Facebook page May 11 said the visit will begin in Havana. Other events under consideration include a visit to the city of Holguin, in eastern Cuba, as well as a visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, the patroness of Cuba, and the nearby city of Santiago de Cuba, the second-largest city on the island.
From Santiago, the pope is expected to take off to his Sept. 22-27 visit in the United States.
The pope’s trip to Cuba will mark the third time a pope has visited the island. St. John Paul II visited Cuba in 1998, and Pope Benedict XVI visited in 2012.
On May 10, the pope met with Cuban President Raul Castro at the Vatican, where Castro thanked him for the “active role he played in improving relations between Cuba and the United States of America,” said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman.